May 23- Fruita, Utah

Monday we visited the Fremont River Valley and the remains of the small Mormon settlement of Fruita (fruit-ah) in Capitol Reef Park.  

Freemont_rvr_valley

The Fremont River is the life’s blood of this arid area and we found fabulous petroglyphs left by the indigenous people over a thousand years ago. 

Pglyph1
Pglyph2

The Friuta orchards and a few log cabins are all that remain of the early pioneers.  We walked through hundreds of Kelly-green cottonwoods with new leaves that sparkled in the sunlight.  The air was filled with  the cotton “snow” of their seeding—pretty dramatic lesson in how cottonwood trees (aka poplars) get their name!  

Ctnwoods

Tracing the river into the canyon, we came across a great wild flower display, with shots of brilliant orange Indian Paintbrush.

Flowers
Flowers-ptbrush

I’d love to know the story behind the old abandoned farm equipment we found,

Plow

Then further into the valley we were able to get a close look at the Navajo Dome.  I noticed this huge sandstone “dollup” the first day we entered Capitol Reef.  It’s also known as Capitol Dome because it’s so distinctive. 

Navajo_dome

From a distance it immediately made me think of a giant Hershey Kiss.

Capitol_dome

I’ve always loved rocks, and I’ve fallen in love with this place and all its colors.  With a dark sky our last day, I took one final shot of the red chiseled Wingate sandstone beside the gray-green and rose Chinle Formation next to the white Navajo sandstone.  Nature is amazing.

Capitol_reef

Tomorrow, we pull up stakes and head to Cannonville, on the other side of Bolder Mountain.  We’ll travel back toward Escalante, get a closer look at the impact of the Waterpocket Fold on this area.  Then we’ll hit the jewel, Bryce Canyon and her sister wonders, Red Rock Canyon, the Grand Staircase, and Kodachrome State Park.  Check back—the sights should be terrific!

Alberta

 

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